This year our home-vegetable-garden is a modest affair that consists of two patio flower pots for tomato plants and three raised 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 12 inch deep cedar containers in our back yard. We plan to expand to four or five containers next year. The containers are commercially made of untreated cedar. They were simple and easily assembled.
The ground at the spot selected for the garden is level and required no added adjustment to level. Leveling is important to allow an even application of water and prevent puddles. It is also important to select a spot that allows full sun exposure for the biggest part of the day (no less than 6 hours of full sun).
Preparing the site required a little more effort. The sod was removed using a garden spade and the earth beneath was loosened with a garden fork. We filled the raised container to within about one and half inches from the top. It took 40 cubic feet of topsoil to fill all three raised containers or about 13 cubic feet per container.
The cedar frame will give good service but all wood will decay even cedar but if our garden is successful we may build a more permanent raised garden of concrete blocks in three or four years. Concrete blocks are more expensive but if properly leveled won’t require additional support and are more durable. They also have the advantage of retaining heat allowing the soil to warm more quickly and stay warmer.
This is our first home-vegetable-garden in several years so we decided to keep it simple and grow the easy to grow variety of vegetables. This of course had to include tomatoes and peppers. We have eight tomato plants and four pepper plants. We also have a variety of herbs including sweet basil, rosemary, flat Italian parsley, oregano, German thyme and some Marigolds to discourage pests. Next year we will add Blue Lake bush beans and maybe a veggie like zucchini.
We started two varieties of tomato plants in March from seed in Styrofoam cups. These included German Johnson seeds and some seeds saved from a grocery store tomato. While we normally don’t care for grocery store tomatoes, this particular tomato was especially good so we decided to grow our own. The other plants in our garden were purchased at a local greenhouse.
Time will tell how successful we will be with this home-vegetable-garden. I am already thinking of excuses. But I can’t say it has been too dry like last year. In fact if anything it has been too wet with a lot of rain so far this year. I will let you know how I do. If you would like to comment or give us any tips, please do.
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